I love, love, love

all things citrus!

Long before juicing or zesting the skin of citrus fruits became popular in the food world, both my grandmothers and my mother had taught me the value of using citrus rind and juice in desserts, soups, and meat recipes. It was an outright travesty if a dish I made fell flat — with no depth of flavor — because I had failed to add the perfect acid. It’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten.

One hot July night in the Hamptons, after a late dinner, my clients were anticipating a fun dessert from me. I knew I could satisfy their special craving by creating a cannabis syrup to pour over a roasted apple and almond dish I had made. It would have to have a strong citrus tang to marry properly with the sweetness of the butter, almonds, and apples. The result was this outrageous Lemon Rosemary Canna Butter.

My clients swooned over it. Singer Aaliyah after trying fell to the floor, laughing hysterically, and christened the magical dessert “Cereal Pie”. It was a beautiful and joyous evening. In fact, the dish was such a hit everyone that summer continued to give “special” names to these “special” dishes. And it was so loved, that Jay Z in his tribute song to Aaliyah “I miss you RMX” mentions “cereal pie.”

“We was The Breakfast Club you was a part of the ROC
We used to make up special names for the food we ate
Remember cerial pie one of your favorite plates (I miss you)”


Throughout the weekend, I kept a jar of this lemon rosemary magic syrup in the refrigerator so they could all dip in from time to time, and they did! There was a lot of warmth and laughter that summer, as you can imagine.

I have thought a lot about those days and the wonderment of that magical summer…